A Comparison of Adaptive Behaviors among Mentally Retarded and Normal Individuals: A guide to Prevention and Treatment

Leyla Sadrossadat, Alireza Moghaddami, Seyyed Jalal Sadrossadat



Objectives: Because of the importance of adaptive behaviors in social and domestic lives, this study aimed at a comparison of various domains of adaptive behaviors, between mentally retarded and normal individuals.

Methods: A number of 246 normal and 74 mentally retarded individuals (7-18 years of age, mean: 12±3.5 years), participated this study in Tehran, Iran. Their adaptive behaviors scores, were obtained using "Adaptive Behavioral Scale, Residential & Community" (ABS-RC: 2), consisting of 18 domains of behavior. The scale was first translated into Persian by the professionals and then retranslated into English by another translator, to ensure content non-distortion.

Results: The following domains were significantly lower in mentally retarded than in normal individuals: independent functioning, economic activity, language development, number & time, prevocational/vocational activity, self direction, responsibility, socialization, disturbing interpersonal behavior, domestic activity, social engagement, conformity and trustworthiness. No significant difference was documented in the physical development, stereotype & hyperactive behaviors, sexual behavior as well as self abuse behavior domains, between the two groups.

Conclusions: As mentally deficient subjects did worse than normal ones in terms of many adaptive behavioral domains, it implies that the adaptive behavioral issues in such people might need a great deal of attention and intervention. For these retarded people to function better in their social and residential environment, it would be necessary to develop their adaptive behaviors. This study may shed light on the importance of attention to the adaptive behavioral domains of mentally retarded people and also indicates the necessity of preventive measures, even for normal individuals.

Keywords: Adaptive behaviors; Behavioral domains; Mental retardation; Prevention

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